Friday, May 15, 2015

The "Unofficial" Castlevania Saga Storyline - Part 1

In celebration of Koji "IGA" Igarashi of Castlevania fame, announcing via kickstarter his new game; Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, (If you're a fan of the series, I highly suggest backing up the project. Simply go to this link.) I decided to finally write my own "unofficial" Castlevania saga.

To fans of the series, please do note that this is my version of the Castlevania saga, with some details changed or some stuff added (NOTE: I took the liberty of getting some detailed info of the storyline from various sources from the net), with my own personal interpretation of the entire Castlevania saga based on IGA's official timeline. Before his departure at Konami, the games that are included in IGA's official Castlevania timeline are as follows:
  • Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (PS2)
  • Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES)
  • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (PS2)
  • Castlevania: The Adventure (GB)
  • Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (GB)
  • Castlevania (NES)
  • Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES)
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA)
  • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (PC Engine)
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1)
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (NDS)
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines (Sega Genesis)
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (NDS)
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA)
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (NDS)
Due to the length and amount of stuff I had to put in the timeline, I had to break down the post into 6 parts. As I mentioned earlier, this is my personal interpretation of IGA's Castlevania timeline, hence the "unofficial" label. With Konami showing no interest in continuing this timeline, I decided to add my own personal ideas and my own interpretation of how things went to try and piece together the entire Castlevania timeline. This is meant for fans like me to find closure to the timeline that IGA left behind.


The Era of Leon Belmont

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence - 1094 AD

  • In the beginning
The 11th century, a time when monarchies weakened and local feudal lords grew into power. Knights, used to simply protect their lord's domains, now fought against heretics for God and the Church.

Among them, a company of knights were said to be invincible due to two men: Leon Belmont, a fearless baron whose combat skills were second to none. And his closest friend, Mathias Cronqvist, a genius tactician, whose education gave him an edge in a largely illiterate society. Their long standing friendship and trust with one another are the foundations of their fearsome reputation in the battlefield.

One day however, Mathias returned home from a victorious campaign and learned of the sudden death of his wife, Elisabetha. His grief was profound that he became bedridden ever since.

Leon meanwhile, still fought for the Church, and his company stayed undefeated. However when an army of monsters suddenly appeared in Leon's domain, he went away and requested assistance from the Church and for their permission for his company to fight and defend his land against the monsters. The church denied his request, for they are more interested in keeping their knights fighting the heretics in the Crusades to the east, thus forbidding any knight to engage in battle.

As Leon went home, he realized his fiancee; Sara Trantoul, was kidnapped by the very same army of monsters that appeared in his domain. Leon seeked help from his friend Mathias, who mentioned to him that the monsters who invaded his domain are under the command of a certain vampire who lived in a castle within the forest named "Forest of Eternal Night", because the forest is in perpetual darkness. Mathias mentioned that it is highly likely that Leon's fiancee was taken by the said vampire and brought to his castle.

Knowing that rescuing his fiancee Sara, would mean going against the Church's rule of forbidding unauthorized battles, Leon Belmont renounced his title as baron along with his knighthood and weaponry that was given to him by the Church and went to the "Forest of Eternal Night" to save his loved one all by himself.

  • The "game" begins
Upon his entry at the forest, he met Rinaldo Gandolfi, an old alchemist who lived in the forest. Leon learns that Rinaldo that the one who rules the castle within the forest was a vampire named, Walter Bernhard. Rinaldo mentioned that Walter enjoys playing life and death games with hunters or brave adventurers, starting his game by abducting his prey's loved one. Walter allows the presence of Rinaldo in his forest, as he wanted Rinaldo to help in making the game "more fun" for him, by arming and helping the would be hunters to give them a better chance of lasting. So far, none has survived Walter's game and he remains undefeated. Rinaldo also mentioned to Leon, that he accepted the offer, as he has "unfinished business" with Walter Bernhard.

Learning that Leon doesn't have a weapon with him, Rinaldo gave him a leather whip made out of alchemy, which has a better chance of defeating the monsters that lurk within the castle than any regular sword or weapon. Leon, curious to know what alchemy is, asks Rinaldo about it. Rinaldo reveals the principles of alchemy to Leon, and tells him that the Church considers the art as heresy. He also revealed that very few people know about Alchemy and one of them was Mathias' family, who taught Rinaldo about alchemy. Apparently, the Cronqvist family have in their possession a book which contains several generations' worth of knowledge in Alchemy that was previously taught orally.

Rinaldo asks if Leon considers Alchemists like himself an enemy, knowing full well that Leon previously fought for the church and killed heretics like him. Leon, says he has already left that life and his obligations to the church the moment he relinquished his title and weapon. He also says, that since Mathias is also an Alchemist and common acquaintance of both men, he will trust Rinaldo and his powers of Alchemy.

Before letting Leon go, Rinaldo casts a spell on Leon's gauntlet. This allows Leon to absorb magical essence which allows Leon to use magical relics that are made of Alchemy, even if temporarily.

Rinaldo explains to Leon, Walter Bernhard's "game". Leon has to enter the castle and successfully defeat the castle's five guardians. Once he has defeated the five, will the entrance to Walter's throne room open, giving Leon the chance to defeat the vampire lord and rescue his beloved Sara.

  • The Whip of Alchemy
Upon Leon's arrival, he was greeted by several guardians of the Castle. He first went out and defeated the first two; the Parasite and the Golem. Upon defeating the two, he comes upon the legendary Medusa; known for turning men into stone with its gaze. Leon, successfully defeats the legendary monster, and Medusa recognizes the whip Leon used against her. The Medusa mentioned that the whip has become significantly stronger, and wonders if the Whip of Alchemy has finally achieved its complete form before it dies before Leon.

Leon heads back to Rinaldo's cottage and asks him what does the Medusa meant about the whip gaining its "complete" form. Rinaldo acknowledges that while the whip has indeed become stronger, it has yet to reach its "complete" form. Rinaldo also mentions that the reason why the whip became much more stronger was probably due to the fact that Leon skillfully wields it, and notes that it suits Leon that it suits him.

When Leon asks how can the whip be completed, Rinaldo brushes the thought and says it is impossible to ever "complete" the whip as it is now. Leon thanks Rinaldo, and heads back on his way to the castle.

  • Rinaldo's grief
Leon returns to the castle, and faces the next guardian; the Succubus, who initially takes the form of Leon's fiancee, Sara. Leon is able to escape the Succubus' trap, and manages to defeat her.

The Succubus reveals to Leon that Rinaldo, was her father, before she dies. Leon immediately goes back to Rinaldo's cottage to confront him about his daughter. Begrudgingly, Rinaldo reveals that his "unfinished business" with Walter Bernhard, was vengeance for turning his daughter into a monster. Rinaldo saw with his own very eyes, his own daughter turned into a Succubus after she murdered his wife and son. Rinaldo, unable to kill his own daughter with the Whip of Alchemy, gave up on his plan and instead helped hunters who would one day bring an end to his daughter's misery and defeat Walter Bernhard once and for all.

Leon, grateful for Rinaldo sharing his sad tale, vows to defeat Walter not just for himself to rescue Sara, but for Rinaldo's peace as well.

  • The Alchemy Stones; Ebony and Crimson Stone
With 4 guardians down, Leon proceeds to head over the Dark Palace of Waterfalls, where he meets the final guardian. An imprisoned vampire named; Joachim Armster.

Leon wonders what a vampire like him is doing imprisoned within the castle. Joachim reveals that he was once Walter's former lieutenant and that he tried to usurp the position of his former master, however Walter's superior strength and possession of the Ebony Stone, made him invincible.

Leon asks about the Ebony Stone, and Joachim tells Leon that he will reveal more about the stone if he defeats him.

Leon successfully defeats Joachim, who in turn explains that the stone, is the one responsible for putting the forest into an eternal darkness. Another effect of the Ebony Stone, was that the darkness provided by the Ebony Stone gives its owner power over all vampires, by amplifying its owner's power over others thus giving Walter such incredible power over all vampires, including Joachim.

Walter, amused by the thought of Joachim trying to defeat him, imprisoned him and made him into one of his castle's guardians and reminded him each day of his defeat at the hands of his former lord. Maddened by hunger and indignation, he attacks Leon with hopes to drain his blood and gain the strength necessary to break free from his prison and exact revenge on Walter.

Before Joachim dies, he says that if he only had the Crimson Stone, he would've had the power to defeat both Leon AND Walter easily.

Leon heads back to Rinaldo's cottage and asks more about the Alchemy Stones. Rinaldo reveals that the two Alchemy stones; the Ebony and Crimson stones, were created as a powerful unknown alchemist tried to create the Philosopher's Stone, a stone said to be the crowning glory of all alchemists providing its owner eternal life and youth. 

The Ebony stone provides eternal darkness, and amplifies its owner's power against other creatures of the night. The Crimson stone is said to provide its owner the ability to absorb souls of vampires and gives power to its owner. It is also said that in exchange for that power, the Crimson stone will turn its owner; if human, into a vampire as well. No other details were known about the Crimson stone and it is said that the two stones are known to be the greatest treasures known to vampires. With the Ebony stone to be in Walter Bernhard's possession, they fear that the Crimson stone might be in existence as well. They pray that the said stone wasn't in the castle.

  • The forging of the "Vampire Killer"
With all 5 of the castle's guardians defeated, Leon heads back to the castle with the magical ward around the castle's highest tower removed. Upon Leon's return, he was greeted by master of the castle; Walter Bernhard, himself.

Leon demanded the release of his fiancee; Sara, and attacks Walter. Despite striking Walter with a more powerful Whip of Alchemy, it still proved completely ineffective against him. Amused by Leon's bravery and for making it farther in his game than any hunter before him, Walter gave a weakened Sara back to Leon. Before he let Leon go, he told him that we would be waiting for him in the throne room on the highest part of the tower.

Leon immediately rushed Sara back to Rinaldo's cottage with hopes of getting her healed. However as soon as Sara came close to the cottage, a powerful protective barrier made of magic struck her down. Rinaldo went out to see Leon with Sara on the ground. Leon demands to know what just happened to Sara and what was the magical barrier around Rinaldo's cottage for. Rinaldo examined Sara, who was unconcious, and afterwards quickly took Leon back inside his cottage.

Inside the cottage, Rinaldo reveals that the barrier was a safeguard for Rinaldo's cottage, which activated whenever a creature of the night came near, which also explains why Rinaldo's cottage is free of monsters. Rinaldo also told Leon that the reason why Sara got struck by the barrier, was because the vampire Walter had tainted Sara, and that she was steadily losing her humanity.

Leon desperately asked Rinaldo if there's any way to prevent Sara from fully turning into a creature of the night. According to Rinaldo, the only way to undo Sara's curse was to defeat Walter immediately using a completed form of the Whip of Alchemy. However, in it's current state, it is impossible, as Rinaldo reveals that the only way for the whip to be completed, is for Leon to take the life of a tainted soul - one that trusts Leon and one that Leon trusts as well. And that would have to be Sara; Leon's fiancee. Shocked and shaked, Leon didn't know what to do. Rinaldo understands, as this was exactly the same situation he was in before with his own daughter who turned into a Succubus, thus he was unable to complete the whip's form before.

Unfortunately Sara overheard the discussion between Leon and Rinaldo, and told Leon that she knew she was turning into a vampire. She volunteers to give her life in order for the Whip of Alchemy to gain its completed form. She mentions that if her sacrifice can give way for Leon to finally defeat Walter and for others to never suffer her cursed fate, she would gladly give it.

Leon, resigns to the fact that to defeat Walter, there is no other way than to kill Sara himself. Rinaldo prepares the final spell that will bind Sara's soul into the Whip of Alchemy and extract the tainted essence inside of her to infuse the whip with the power to slay all creatures of darkness, even vampires. Rinaldo tells Leon to enter a blood covenant with Sara, and for Sara to unleash all of her hatred upon all the creatures of the night. A tearful Leon, strikes down Sara, ending the life of the person whom he loved more than anything. A dying Sara tells Leon, that she will always be with him forever.

With the Whip of Alchemy soaking up Sara's blood, and absorbing the combined fury and essence of a tainted soul, to form the Whip of Alchemy's final form; the "Vampire Killer" whip.

  • The end game at the Throne Room
After giving Sara a proper burial, Leon armed with the "Vampire Killer" whip, storms the castle and goes to the throne room to confront Walter. Upon his arrival, he faced Walter Bernhard who seemed pleased to see him back.

Using the "Vampire Killer" whip, Leon quickly showed Walter, that his new found weapon now has the power to defeat him. Empowered by the rage, hatred and grief, Leon channeled all his power onto the "Vampire Killer" whip and finally defeated Walter Bernhard, ending his game.

Surprised at the turn of events and his sudden defeat, Walter reveals that with his powers as a vampire, he will surely return. Walter vows that one day he will obtain the Crimson Stone for himself and defeat Leon upon his return. However, before Walter is able to escape, Death himself appeared seeking the soul of Walter. Confused, Walter tried to escape, however Death managed to absorb the vampire's soul along with the Ebony Stone, and offered it to his master; the "king who wields the Crimson Stone."

To Leon's shock, the one who emerged as the wielder of the Crimson and now the Ebony Stone as well, was none other than his own friend; Mathias Cronqvist.

  • Betrayal and the Oath of the Belmont clan
A confused Leon Belmont struggles to find the words to say upon learning of the identity of the owner of the Crimson Stone, his friend Mathias.

Mathias absorbs Walter Bernhard's soul using the Crimson Stone, thus abandoning his humanity by becoming a vampire himself. Now with both the Ebony and Crimson Stone in his possession, he reveals to Leon that it was his idea to use him from the very start, and that he was the one who orchestrated the abduction of Sara by Walter. Mathias' goal was to have Leon defeat Walter, the most powerful vampire of the land, so that he will be able to obtain the Ebony Stone and absorb Walter's power and make it his own. In doing so, he has both the Crimson and Ebony Stone, becoming the most powerful being of darkness imbued with immortality, incredible power against all creatures of the night, and the protection of Death at his side.

He tells Leon, that his act of treachery, was necessary for him to obtain the two Alchemy Stones, to become an immortal with powers that will rival God himself. It was his act of vengeance against God, for ruthlessly taking the one person he loved the most; his wife Elisabetha.

Mathias offered his friend a chance to join him in immortality, for he knew that Leon too knows what it feels like to have the one he loved taken away from him. Leon rebuked Mathias, saying that he is not the man who he used to admire, his best friend. That he was no longer the noble man whom Elisabetha fell in-love with.

Mathias, disgusted with Leon's refusal, severed his friendship with him and told his servant Death to deal with him, as he cannot bring himself to kill Leon himself. Mathias, having to learn how to use his new found powers, assumed bat form and left the castle with the two Alchemy stones in his possession.

Death, despite giving Leon a fierce and difficult fight, fell under the might of Leon's "Vampire Killer" whip. The battle proved that the "Vampire Killer" whip was effective against ALL creatures of the night, even Death himself.

Before Death disappeared, Leon told him to deliver a message to Mathias saying:

" You have become a cursed being and I will never forgive you. This whip and my kinsmen will destroy you someday. From this day on, the Belmont Clan will hunt the night."

The castle fell, and Leon quickly escaped the collapsing castle. With the Ebony Stone gone, the sun started to shine in the in the forest, and the eternal night was finally gone. Rinaldo witness the destruction of the castle and the ray of light from dawn falling upon the forest for the first time in years giving him peace. Leon Belmont, looks at the rising sun, with a new beginning for him and his clan.

No comments:

Post a Comment